Tag Archives: baseball

The Horse Rides off into the Sunset

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Matt Cain throws the last pitch of his career in the fifth inning at AT&T Park on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. (Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)

Under sun-drenched AT&T Park, Matt Cain made his final Major League start, all of them while wearing a Giants’ uniform. Undoubtedly, nerves were running full tension in his 6 foot-three frame, but he retired the first six Padres in order before giving up a lead-off single in the third.

After a four-pitch lead-off walk in the fifth, Bruce Bochy walked to the mound under a chorus of boos, but Cain had only given up two hits and one walk at that point, and although he was at the pitch count that Bochy had stated he’d exit on, he let Cain have the chance to finish the inning. He promptly retired the next three Padres in order and exited to a tremendous chorus of cheers from the fans. After receiving hugs and congratulations from Bochy and a few others, Cain came out onto the warning track and doffed his cap to the fans, reaching in every direction as he was bathed in a chorus of cheers and tears. After what seemed like an eternity, the ever-humble Cain went into the dugout to receive hugs from all of his teammates. Probably the most-memorable and tear-inducing moment was the bear hug that he received from Madison Bumgarner. Cain then took one last curtain call in front of the dugout before Hunter Pence lead off the bottom of the sixth.

And just like that, he was done.

Matt Cain served an incredibly faithful 13 years to the San Francisco Giants before announcing his retirement earlier this week. Bochy and management knew that he deserved this one last start, more than deserved. Although his last three years were plagued with injuries and a lack of performance, he didn’t disappoint in his last start, allowing no runs and only two hits and one walk in five innings.

The term getting “Cained” was coined early in his career. In our last post, we noted how he is at the bottom of pitchers with over 100 wins in terms of run support. He routinely lost games 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 despite his dominant pitching, which is why his losing career record is not indicative of the pitcher that he was. Although he’s not a Hall of Famer, he epitomized what it is to be a Giant. Sure enough, after his departure, Reyes Moronta allowed a two-out homerun to Wil Meyers to tie the score at one, and denying Cain of a win.

The Giants reclaimed the lead with a single by Pence, but the Padres opened up the bottom of the ninth with a squibber to Crawford, who threw it past Pablo at first base for a two-base error. A bloop put runners on the corners with one out, but Sam Dyson struck out Renfroe, and got Austin Hedges to an 0-2 count before grooving a pitch that Hedges split the outfielders with, putting the Padres up 3-2, their first lead of the entire game. With two outs. And down to their last strike. The Giants couldn’t muster a baserunner in the home half of the inning and limped out of the park with another crushing defeat, and Dyson’s second consecutive blown save (although an error and bloop really weren’t his fault).

Bochy reflected on Cain’s career in the post-gamer, and even jokingly offered that Cain could manage tomorrow because he’s “not done very well this year.” Instead of being interviewed in the clubhouse, the Giants put Cain out on the podium in the press room. Bochy revealed that the team had a private moment and a toast to Cain just after the game and prior to their pressers.

Cain was candid and honest in reflecting upon his career, even commenting on how he smiled when he realized that Ted Barrett, the home plate umpire from his perfect game, was behind the dish today. He was surprised that he made it a full five innings considering that he hadn’t pitched in a month, but after his four-pitch walk to lead off the fifth, he talked with Bochy realizing that he didn’t want to go out on a four-pitch walk. He summoned what was left, and with two outs and two strikes, he dropped a curve on the opposing pitcher, mostly because he was “out of gas.” That weak grounder to Crawford officially ended his career before doffing his cap.

Cain said that he “fulfilled everything he could think of from a career.” He wants to be with the Giants in some capacity next year, but he needs to take some time with his family and decompress before looking at his options.

Bochy ended his presser talking about Cain’s nickname saying, “his nickname is the ‘Horse’ for a good reason because we were riding him hard.”

After Cain’s presser, it was a pleasure to actually shake his hand thank him in person, a rare occurrence between press and athletes, but he had just thanked the press (sarcastically or not) for the relationship over the years. So, as the “Horse” rides off into the sunset, I think we all would just like to say thanks, Cainer, you’re a true Giant.

Chad

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Episode #129: It’s Almost Over

MLB: World Series-San Francisco Giants at Kansas City Royals

Vogey had some amazing starts with the Giants, and deserves his place in SF lore.

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Chad and Eric wind down the season with a deep political discussion that some may not want to hear, but what the hell…they’re close to 100 losses.

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Episode #128: Baseball is great, but pray for Texas

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Can we never speak of, or see these creamcicle orange unis ever again? (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Although we didn’t dwell on the hurricane in Texas, we wanted to mention that thousands, if not more, people, are being severely affected by this storm. Please, donate money, pray, do whatever you can to help those in harm’s way.

As far as baseball, Chad and Eric reconnect with Ben to discuss recent developments in Giants-land from their earliest and official elimination from the West, being swept by Arizona, Kontos to the Pirates, Cain getting bombed…wait a minute, jeez, sounds like we didn’t have fun!

But actually, any time you get three guys talking baseball, no matter how depressing it may seem, it’s actually quite enjoyable, because you know what, there’s real life like in Texas. We do also dwell on more positive topics like the player’s weekend uniforms and the Giants mega-interest in Stanton (like that’s going to happen).

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Episode #127: We Called This Episode 128

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Remember this? Yeah, it’s about the only real memorable contribution made by Connor Gillaspie, who was DFA’s by the Giants yesterday. But, oh what a moment it was. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

So, we lost track of the number. 127, 128…it’s about the same difference as in Matt Moore’s expected and real ERA.

Speaking of Moore, we talk about the huge disappointment he’s been, among other Giants. They are flirting with a 100 loss season, but are throwing in the towel with the youth movement, DFA’ing Connor Gillaspie, sending down Hwang, and calling up Suarez, Jones, Parker and others. If Beede and Arroyo weren’t hurt, we just might have the RiverCats playing out the rest of the Giants’ season!

And yes, we talk about the reunion with the Panda, and trading away a solid player in Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox for some pocket lint that may not amount to anything.

At least we can look forward to 2034?

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Can The Giants Come Back And Make The Playoffs?

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Sitting at just 17-25, the San Francisco Giants are a long shot to make the playoffs in 2017. Even after their wonderful 5-2 home stand, the Giants are in 4th place in the NL West, around 9 games behind the first place Rockies.

A week ago, Chad an I recorded a podcast in which the basic theme was, “now or never”. Since the Giants recently reeled off a 5-game winning streak, and seem to be playing better ball, it got me wondering if they could possibly rebound from their bad start and make the postseason. I’m going to try to some answer some questions and see if we can look into the future and predict if the Giants can make it. All stats are from the Wild Card Era (1995-present).

Has a team in the Wild Card Era started this bad and still made the playoffs?

Yes. There is hope. Continue reading

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Episode #121: Can We Get a Do-over?

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Bruce Bochy attempting to travel back in time with VR goggles to start this season over.

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Being a Giants fan is tough right now. We’ve had it good over the last 7 years, but things are a-changing in 2017. The fact is, to get to 87 wins, a reasonable total to get the second wild card position, the Giants would have to play .591 ball the rest of the way, and only one team (Cubs) did that all of last year. Eric and Chad discuss this looming task, along with the poor performance of the team and players, aside from the likes of Posey, Panik and Arroyo.

If the Giants want to turn their season around, it needs to start now.

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Episode #120: May the Morse be With You

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Michael Morse with an improbable game-tying homerun in the 8th inning against LA, reminiscent of the one he hit in Game 5 of the NLCS. Photo: Scott Strazzante, The Chronicle

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Willie returns to the podcast to chat with Eric and Chad about the Giants’ historic poor start. We still believe it’s too early in the season to panic, but there are legitimate concerns, but there are also bright spots like Matt Cain, Christian Arroyo, Michael Morse, Buster Posey and Joe Panik.

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Episode #112: The Final Stretch

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Remember when the Giants backed into a wild card spot in 2014? What happened next? Just sayin’

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

The Giants went 5-9 since we recorded two weeks ago, just when we thought they were turning the corner. Those 9 losses included 3 in which they led going into the 9th, including vs. STL and LA. Not gonna lie. Those losses hurt, A LOT. And now, they’re having a direct impact on the Giants’ chances of making the playoffs, but here they sit, 1/2 game back of NY and 1 game up on STL.

Eric and Chad talk about the final six games of the year, and the keys to securing a wild card spot, now that LA has clinched the NL West.

Please enjoy, what will most likely be our last regular season podcast of 2016. Hopefully, we’ll have a playoff edition for episode 113. Disregard that 13 part of the number.

RIP Jose Fernandez

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Giants Lose to Cardinals. Matt Cain Explains.

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You can download the interview with Matt Cain here, or stream it below!

Ok, Matt Cain doesn’t explain why they lost, but he has a message for Giants fans: they signed up for criticism, and they do deserve some right now, but they are in control of their own destiny.

I talked with Matt Cain after the Giants lost 3-0 to the Cardinals. The Giants now trail the Mets by 1 game and lead the Cardinals by only 1 game. He did mention Rally Cupcakes. So, Giants fans, eat those cupcakes, their playoff hopes hang in the balance.

Chad

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Casilla Blows Another Save. Everything is OK.

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The Giants blew another 9th inning lead tonight. In fact, it was their 8th loss after leading in the ninth. Never mind the 28 blown saves that lead the NL. At least they won some of those games. But, 8 losses after leading after 9 (2 of them came after leading by 3 in the 9th, btw) is SOUL-CRUSHING. Let’s look at the what ifs:

  1. If they won tonight (blowing only 7 9th inning leads), they’d trail the NL West by 4 and lead the Mets by 1 and Cardinals by 4 in the wild card.
  2. If they had only blown 6 ninth inning leads, they would trail LA by 3 and lead the Mets by 2 and Cards by 5.
  3. If they had only blown 5 ninth inning leads, they would trail LA by 2 and lead the Mets by 3 and Cards by 6.
  4. If they had only blown 4 ninth inning leads, they would trail LA by 1 and lead the Mets by 4 and Cards by 7.
  5. If they had only blown 3 ninth inning leads, they would be TIED WITH LA and lead the Mets by 5 and Cards by 8.
  6. If they had only blown 2 ninth inning leads, they would LEAD LA by 1 and lead the Mets by 6 and Cards by 9.
  7. Ok, so most teams don’t blow more than a few leads in the ninth, so I’ll stop here. Most teams blow a lead or two or three, but not EIGHT!!

Point being, the Giants are still in this race, but the NL West is most likely out, unless they go 6-0 against the Dodgers.

Let’s hope they win tomorrow, because if they don’t, the Giants may miss out on the playoffs by 1 or 2 games, and it will all come down to the bullpen in the 9th.

Did anyone think that Casilla would be called upon again? I’m shocked that he’s still in the “rotation,” but I don’t think we see him again in the regular season in a save situation after the boos that rained down on him and Bochy tonight.

Chad

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